Microsoft Office 97 came with a virtual assistant named Clippy, an animated paper clip. He could be helpful if you had no idea what you were doing, but as you mastered the program, Clippy became more annoying by the day. He was cute, but could be snarky at times, and always managed to treat you like an idiot. But Clippy managed to escape his original job and became a meme, so now he is less an annoyance and more of nostalgic reminder of 1990s computer culture. You know, if it weren't for Clippy, we might not have Siri or Alexa now. Or we might have a really annoying Siri or Alexa now.
You wouldn't be at all surprised that the guy who created Clippy was a children's book illustrator. Or at least he is now. Kevan J. Atteberry tells the story of how Clippy came about. -via Nag on the Lake